Top 5 Picture Framing Tips

Making picture frames is, as they say, ‘not rocket science’ but like many things in life that at first appear to be quite simple, simple enough that anyone could do it, it does require some knowledge, an acceptance that there is a right way and a wrong way to do certain things, the correct tools and a willingness to learn.

Of course ‘the right way’ and ‘the wrong way’ are subjective terms and what might be right for one person could be wrong for another, however, there are a number of accepted ‘best practices’ that have been developed over many years by thousands of picture framers making countless thousands of frames that can be regarded as sound advice for someone approaching the subject for the first time.

Of course even the list is subjective and there will be many items that make one framers list and not another’s, nonetheless there are a few which should be on every framers ‘best practice’ list.

Here are our Top 5. You may have some others to add, please make comments below.

1. Use good quality tools. The old adage was never more appropriate and for those of you who have tried to cut a mount using a Stanley knife or tried to cut a frame using a household saw and a miter block will know, good quality tools result in good quality framing – if used by skilled framer.

2. Use ‘Reversible’ framing when possible. Reversible framing is the principle that advises framers to use methods of framing that allows the framed item to be removed from the frame leaving no evidence that it was framed in the first place. Not always 100% possible but as a guide it reminds the framer to use teqniques that minimize any possible contact with the item being framed.

3. Don’t use masking tape! The mantra of every decent picture framer. Masking tape is unsuitable for framing, great for decorating, but not framing. The glue dries out, fails and leaves behind a residue which is almost impossible to remove. Pleeeeease. Don’t do it!

4. The frame should enhance the image. The role of a picture frame is to protect and enhance the picture, and it is the job of a picture framer to guide the customer to make choices to that end. A modern glossy aluminum frame would look very wrong surrounding a 18th century water colour likewise a heavily gilded frame would look out of place surrounding a modern print. Extreme examples maybe but you get the message, and your picture framer is here to help.

5. Glass should be spaced away from the image. Glass can stick to an image, it can ruin photographs and damp can form between the glass and the item being framed. All true. The use of a mount will space the glass away from the image and reduce the possibility of damage.

There are many more that should be added to the list, perhaps you would like to add yours? Please leave a comment below.


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